The latest Super Smash Bros. is approaching its release but gamers will only be to get their hands on the 3DS version, with the Wii U version having a delayed release date. This has struck many fans of the franchise as being strange, but the series creator Masahiro Sakurai has explained the reasons behind the disparity in the release dates.
According to the developer the debugging process that the developers are currently going through is such a time consuming part of development that the teams decided to split the process for the individual versions.
“Checking is done both domestically and overseas, so for a game like Super Smash Bros., several hundred people are employed.” explained Sakurai. “So, debugging alone becomes a huge project. So much so that one of the biggest reasons for the separate release dates for the 3DS and Wii U versions was so that we could shift the debugging periods.”
“There are many reasons why a game’s release date will be delayed, but eight or nine times out of ten, it’s usually because a bug couldn’t be fixed in time. But it’s better than releasing a product like that.”
Super Smash Bros. is due to launch on the Nintendo 3DS in Japan September 13 and October 3 in both North American and Europe. The Wii U versions does not currently have a release date, but is expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2014. It is the first game in the series to be released for both a home console and a handheld device. While the gameplay between the two versions is identical there are differences between them, mostly to do with the graphics and visuals along with the 3D effect that is available on the 3DS.
The title is being developed in a joint collaboration between Bandai Namco Games and Sora Ltd., with developers from Namco including those who have worked on Soulcalibur and Tekken. That team is working primarily on ensuring balance between the different characters and in general gameplay.